3 Steps to Make More Money Now
Simplify Your Business and Launch Your Sales
Is growing your business feeling complicated or overwhelming?
Are you exhausted, yet still not getting all the important things done?
Are you very busy, but really need to make more money?
Perhaps you answered “yes” to one of those and maybe even all three questions. Whatever you are experiencing in your business right now, there are practical things you can intentionally do to simplify the path to growing your business, focus your energy on what matters most, and feel great about your results. It is possible! I know it is because my Signature Business Building program leads female entrepreneurs to strategically build their business in 7 key areas to produce lasting results, and the three steps in this 3-part series are part of this program. Even if you haven’t participated in my program, implementing these 3 steps can provide the boost you need to get momentum going and get you started toward lasting results instead of simply focusing on getting the next sale.
Whether you are a new entrepreneur or ready to take your existing business to the next level, you can equip yourself by taking three powerful steps that will immediately simplify and clarify your business priorities, and position you to launch your sales. You started your business to make a difference and make a living- this series will reveal three steps you can take that will not only support you to do more of what you love and make a difference, but also make more money. After all, the goal is to put you in the “sweet spot” of your business where you can be fulfilled and profitable!
Here is the first step in the 3-part series to make more money:
Step 1: Identify and Choose Your Ideal Clients.
Did you ever say “yes” to a client even when you knew in your core that it was not the right opportunity for you? Do you want to only work with your ideal clients?
WHY work only with your ideal clients?
When you’re newer in business it’s easy to work with everyone and take whatever business you can get- I know, I did that when I first started! In fact, it’s good experience to work with a variety of people and projects to discover what you like best and which people are the right “fit”. But soon you realize that not everyone is the right “fit” for your services or products, and most likely there are some experiences along the way that indicate which people are easier or more enjoyable to work with too. (I imagine you’re nodding your head at this point.) Although you want to make more money, you also want to enjoy your work, and the people you serve and surround yourself with (your Hub) can impact how much you enjoy both. Thus, you must be intentional in selecting your clients.
The most powerful lesson about the importance of working with your ideal client rather than taking whatever business you can get is… “the difficult client”. We’ve all had them- the ones who you might have gone through extra hoops or steps to get the sale, all along the way feeling your gut telling you it’s not the right fit (aka “red flags”). Perhaps you gave this client a discount or a special arrangement on top of that. After some time, resentment typically sets in and it’s easy to dread seeing or hearing from that client. That’s not good for you or them, and can even ruin your reputation. Since they may not get the results they were hoping and feel frustrated, they could easily share that with others. People share both positive and negative experiences with their connections. Choosing to work with people who are not your ideal clients can not only make your life and work less enjoyable, it can create a negative experience for your client and ultimately impact future sales.
When you choose to work only with your ideal clients you not only decrease negative experiences you honor yourself and your client. This especially important for professional services that involve significant one-on-one time with the client. When you take on a client whom you know is not the right fit it could mean that they won’t benefit to the fullest extent, no matter how hard you try. I’ve personally reached the point in my journey where I believe doing that would mean knowingly keeping someone from the best results they could have. Upon seeing this clearly, by choosing to only work with my ideal clients, I show integrity to myself and to others. Not surprisingly, once I began to commit to this policy at a higher level, I began to have significantly greater results with my clients, who then shared these positive experiences and outcomes with others. Furthermore, it alleviates concern about competition and supports an abundance mindset- that doing the right thing and being true to yourself will attract the right people and opportunities. To a large extent it makes competition irrelevant (See Blue Ocean Strategy).
HOW do you identify and choose your ideal clients?
Learning how to select the right clients and projects is not complicated, and just takes some reflection on your part. Provided that you have already offered a product or service to at least a handful of clients, you have valuable information in your hands that you can use to “see” who your ideal clients are. If you have been in business for several years, your ideal client can change over time depending on your business path, experiences and desired growth. Staying in touch with your ideal clients- who they are, their needs, challenges, interests, and the things you desire in them can be a useful thing to include in your annual business review and planning.
So, how can you begin to understand who your ideal clients? Start by reflecting on each of your clients from the past year or two, and your experience working with them. You may immediately think of those clients who you loved working with and have said, “I wish all of my clients were like this.” If so, what was it that compelled you to say that? When reviewing your current and past client experiences make note of a few key things:
- What you enjoyed about the client and/or work
- What you did not enjoy (and why)
- Some demographics (e.g. age, location, profession, etc.)
- Descriptive qualities (e.g. what triggered their need for your services, what type of assistance did you provide them, etc.)
- Personal qualities/psychographics (e.g. positive attitude, environmentally responsible, lifestyle, etc.).
Of course, you can get fancy and more detailed in your documentation and review of this information, while simply observing a few things about each client experience can point to a set of themes and descriptors for groups or possible niches of people who are your ideal clients.
Once you have identified your ideal clients and projects, choosing them is up to you. This is where it can be tough, especially if you really need to boost your income. You may be tempted to help everyone, but not everyone is your ideal client, and saying yes to the difficult client be more trouble than it’s worth. Rather than continuing to have frustrating client experiences with lots of time and energy wasted, you can develop “guiding principles” so you never regret saying yes to a new client again (and enjoy your life a whole lot more!).
The transition to working with only your ideal clients can feel tricky and take some practice, however. I coach my clients to develop some guiding principles for what to look for when choosing whom you will work with and not work with. Your guiding principles are your policies, your ways of working, and those subjective, personal preferences you take notice of when choosing whether to say yes to a project or not. For example, if one of your principles is that you’re going to only work with people who respect your time, you might observe whether a prospective client is prompt for initial meetings or in getting required documents or information to you. This is one of my own guiding principles, and I’ve built in “screening steps” in my process to help me weed out people who do are not the right fit. Once you reflect on your experience with past and current clients you’ll be equipped to identify some of the characteristics, attitudes, behaviors you want to see or not see in people and projects you identify as ideal.
I’d love to hear from you in the comments below: Are you clear on your ideal clients? What steps do you take to ensure you are saying yes to the people and projects you want to work with?